American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini with family 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy ACLJ)
BERLIN – Iran’s “hanging judge” convicted and sentenced American-Iranian Pastor
Saeed Abedini on Sunday to eight years in Evin Prison because of his Christian
Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the Washington-based
American Center for Law and Justice, informed The Jerusalem Post on Sunday of
the conviction. His organization represents Abedini’s family in the US and is
working to secure his release.
Judge Pir-Abassi, whose reputation as
Tehran’s “hanging judge,” prompted the European Union to sanction him for human
rights violations, orally sentenced Abedini to eight years in prison for
threatening the national security of the Islamic Republic because of his
leadership role in Iran’s Christian house church community.
“the evidence provided was of Pastor Saeed [Abedini]’s Christian activities
primarily during the early 2000s, when under then-president [Mohammad] Khatami
house churches were not perceived as a threat to Iran. Despite Iranian law
requiring a written verdict, none was given.
“Here’s the troubling
reality,” he continued, “a US citizen who has been beaten and tortured since his
imprisonment last fall, is now facing eight years in Evin Prison, one of the
most brutal prisons in Iran.”
Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, was quoted on
ACLJ’s website saying, “The promise of his release was a lie. We should not
trust the empty words or promises put out by the Iranian government. These false
hopes amount to psychological torture. You don’t want to trust them, but they
build a glimmer of hope before the crushing blow.
development I am devastated for my husband and my family. We must now pursue
every effort, overturn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on
Naghmeh and her two children live in
Sekulow has called on the international community to demand
“Iran has not only abused its own laws, it has trampled
on the fundamentals of human rights,” he said.